The Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK EV charging companies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK EV charging companies perform across the digital space.
The latest Q1 2023 benchmarking report for UK EV charging companies has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national EV charging companies, including Pod Point, InstaVolt, Osprey Charging, Egg, bp pulse, IONITY, GeniePoint, GRIDSERVE, Wallbox Chargers, evchargepod.co.uk, ChargedEV and Plug Me In.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other EV charging companies to win brand exposure locally, secure online views, and ultimately drive the installation and usage of their charging points. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.
To see a preview and contents page of the Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key take-aways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.
Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels
Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will under-perform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing. Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.
Technical Website Compliance
Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. For EV charging companies, having an easy-to-navigate site is essential for EV drivers needing to locate charging options for their vehicles and particular care should be taken of the pathways to key pages, such as charging station locators.
Whilst most of the EV charging companies we researched had a fairly low amount of website errors, all twelve of the companies had at least a few 4xx or 5xx errors showing. Pod Point are seeing by far the worst level of 4xx error codes, with 1,991. Pod Point need to be looking into the cause of these errors.
Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance
When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. As with ensuring your site is technically compliant, EV charging companies must ensure their site experience is fast and efficient (just as their chargers should be!).
We would expect most to achieve at least an ‘okay’ score of 50-89, whereas only six of the twelve EV charging companies did. The mobile page speed scores are currently between 14 and 73, with Wallbox Chargers lagging behind. All the companies that are scoring below 50 have some serious work to do on improving their mobile page speed.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. As the market for products relating to electric vehicles widens, brands such as those in the EV charging sector must ensure they're building authority early, to land them in good stead as the industry develops.
A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. Only eight of the twelve companies achieved a score of average or above, with the DA ranging from 4 to 73. evchargepod.co.uk are the lowest-scoring company. Those at the lower end of the scale need to be focusing on building a stronger backlink profile to compete with the higher-scoring EV charging providers.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. In the case of EV charging companies, these could look like "EV charge point near me", "home EV charge point installation", or "office EV charge point installation". When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions.
We looked at how all twelve EV charging companies have performed compared to last year. Continuous improvement and optimisation is also needed to secure traffic year on year. We discovered that only all of the EV charging companies in our report have gained organic mobile traffic year on year. Osprey Charging saw the biggest gain with a 373% increase.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. For emerging sectors such as EV charging, brands can use educational content to appear for these 'position zero' results, such as by optimising for 'People Also Ask' and 'Image' results with quick answers. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings.
We could see that People Also Ask was the highest used universal search feature, with Pod Point taking the top spot reaching 1,600 results. Some companies are underusing all universal search feature options and only seeing a handful of results. Those getting a small amount of results need to work towards the numbers their competitors are achieving.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. This builds on what we've discussed within our Organic Performance section, as EV charging companies will want to ensure they have key, transactional phrases within their approach. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index.
evchargepod.co.uk and Plug Me In are ranking for a significantly low number of longtail keywords compared to their competitors, with very few of their longtail keywords ranking in the top 20. Both companies should be looking at how to improve their rankings on existing longtail keywords, but also at how they can expand their strategy to include new specific search terms.
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. For brands that operate both at home and within the public, such as EV charge points, Facebook ads are an opportunity to build brand visibility and recognition.
Below, we can see examples of GRIDSERVE's Facebook ads. The use of images of their different areas, along with clear CTAs and mixing still images and video content, make the advert eye-catching to scrolling social media users.
Top Social Shares & Content
When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer - this might be challenging in a sector facing regular updates and developments, but EV charging companies will still have plenty of ever-relevant topics they can cover. It's great for your retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time.
We saw in our research that both Plug Me In and evchargepod.co.uk are falling behind their competitors when it comes to both Facebook Likes and Instagram Followers. Both companies need to look into how they can compete with the other EV charging companies.
Website Readability & Accessibility
20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere.
All of the EV charging companies appear to be struggling with accessibility within their sites, with all twelve seeing an array of errors, contrast errors, and alerts. GRIDSERVE are seeing the worst amount, hitting 78 alerts on their website. The EV charging companies seeing issues should be reviewing and optimising their accessibility, and investigating to see what the issues within their websites are.
Q1 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 EV charging companies on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q1 2023 REPORT
To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.